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Oral history interview with Helen Shonberg

Oral History | Accession Number: 2006.70.38 | RG Number: RG-50.583.0038

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.

Helen Shonberg (née Hoffman), born October 4, 1929 in Prague, Czechoslovakia (Czech Republic), discusses her background; her schooling; facing restrictions after the Nazi takeover; all of her family gradually being sent to Theresienstadt; accommodations and daily life in Theresienstadt; being sent to Auschwitz in 1943 after the Red Cross left and Theresienstadt was liquidated; being sent to a family camp in Birkenau; how she and her mother were almost sent to the gas chambers; being transported to Kratzau, a women’s labor camp with an ammunitions factory in Czechoslovakia in July 1944; doing washing and cleaning but no hard labor at Kratzau; being taken on a death march; seeing bombs falling; after 12 days arriving at a train station where they were put on cattle cars; arriving at Bergen-Belsen; working as a messenger until the SS disappeared; her mother being sick when British troops liberated the camp; her mother being taken to a hospital; going to see her mother after a few days after going to an orphanage where she gained employment as a translator; going back to Prague during August 1945; leaving Czechoslovakia after the 1948 communist takeover and eventually making her way to the United States with her mother; and moving to Australia in 1951 to be with her uncle and his wife.

Interviewee
Helen Shonberg
Date
1989 March 22  (interview)
Language
English
Extent
1 sound cassette.
Credit Line
Forms part of the Claims Conference International Holocaust Documentation Archive at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. This archive consists of documentation whose reproduction and/or acquisition was made possible with funding from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany.
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Record last modified: 2018-01-22 10:49:52
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn43181